Rafael Nadal described reaching the final of the Melbourne Summer Set as an ‘important comeback’ as he returned from his August 2021 injury.
A foot complaint prematurely ended his campaign last year and was then his absence was further delayed by a case of Covid-19 in December.
He beat Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori 6-4 7-5 in the semi-finals to set up a clash with Maxime Cressy.
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"It's an important comeback after five months outside of competition," the Spaniard said after his win.
"I need to do some things better on court, but it's step by step. My body is holding up and that's the main thing.
"I need matches to get back to 100%. I know my tennis isn't perfect, but it's about being patient and doing my best."
24-year-old American Cressy reached the final with an upset 7-5 7-6 (11-9) win over Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov.
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